NWI Co-Founder Recognized by ASCE with Lifetime Award
NWI’s co-founder, Dr. Kishor Mehta, was recently awarded the “Lifetime Service Award” from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Dr. Mehta is currently the Program Director for Hazard Mitigation and Structural Engineering at the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C., the federal agency that funds fundamental research in science and engineering, However, Dr. Mehta has spent most of his career at Texas Tech University focusing on academic pursuits.
Dr. Mehta first started teaching and doing research at Texas Tech University in 1964. In May 1970, Lubbock (where TTU has one of its main campuses) was hit by a tornado which led to the destruction of almost half the city and 26 fatalities. Dr. Mehta (along with the other NWI co-founders) started to focus more on wind damage mitigation, especially the field of wind loads on buildings and structures.
Dr. Mehta’s main contribution to the ASCE has been in the capacity of Chair of the Wind Load Committee which produced the ASCE’s Guide to Wind Loads ANSI A58.1-1982, ASCE 7-88, ASCE 7-95, ASCE 7-95, ASCE 7-02, ASCE 7-05, and ASCE 7-10. He also designed and implemented short courses offered through the ASCE from 1992-2006 which were held at more than 50 locations nationwide.
During the last several decades, Dr. Mehta has taught courses in reinforced concrete design, pursued research in wind loads on buildings and structures (as previously mentioned), and played an integral role in establishing the internationally known Wind Science and Engineering Research program at Texas Tech University. (The WiSE Center has recently been re-organized and is now named the National Wind Institute.) He also played a leading role in designing and developing TTU’s doctoral degree curriculum which offers an interdisciplinary Ph.D. degree in Wind Science and Engineering, the only degree of its kind in the U.S.
Dr. Mehta received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. degree in Civil/Structural Engineering from the University of Texas in Austin. Prior to focusing on his academic pursuits, he has worked as a design engineer in New York City and in Page, Arizona (on the construction project of the Glen Canyon Dam). While in Arizona, he also met and married his wife, Mary Ann (now deceased). During their 47 years together, the Mehtas raised four children and 10 grandchildren.
Dr. Mehta has also been recognized with an election to the National Academy of Engineers, Distinguished Member of the ASCE, and this current award from the Texas Section of ASCE given at their recent annual conference.